The Christmas Box Project was a great success again! This year, Hazelwood adopted 30 families, with 39 children among them, through the Salvation Army.

It takes a lot of volunteers and donations to help so many families: the Salvation Army screened and sent us the information for families who truly needed assistance this Christmas; Meijer donated a $500.00 gift card to help with the Secret Santa Shopping; Aldi helped us to order food for the families.

All of those groups were a big help, but the heroes are you, Hazelwood. Without the support you gave throughout the entire process, we would not have been able to adopt these families and provide them with this much-needed Christmas help. You volunteered your time to raise money, make phone calls, shop for toys, wrap presents, pack food, and deliver boxes. You donated ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, and special gifts for the children. And you gave financial support to help purchase the food and gifts for these families.

Special thanks to Kent, Stephanie, Ashlyn, & Jaxon Farra, who helped not only with bringing the food from Aldi to the church on both Thursday and Saturday (no small task!), but also helped to coordinate the packing of the non-perishable food on Thursday. They had a great group of hard-working volunteers to help them along the way: Dennis Holmes; Jay & Mary Ann Matchett; Carolyn McShurley; Stefanie & Logan Petty; Bill Ritchie; Bob & Sue Weller along with their grandchildren, Cameron, Reid, & Molly Webber; and Ann Wolfe.

On Saturday, the perishable food was packaged up, and everything was delivered by Shirley Bookout & her grandchildren, Haley & Austin Herr; Don & Cheryll Crose; Kent, Stephanie, Ashlyn, & Jaxon Farra; Daniel, Heather, & Emma Kruger; Jay Matchett; Yeno Matuka; Rev. James Petty; Jason, Bethany, Landon, & Maggie Ratts; Jim & Nancy Reece; and Bob & Sue Weller with their grandsons, Cameron & Reid Webber. This fine group not only delivered food and toys to these families, they also brought with them some much-needed Christmas hope and cheer.

With the loss of Marsh Supermarkets, the Christmas Box Project was a little different this year, and we weren’t quite sure what to expect in working with Aldi for the first time. It turns out the amazing staff and low prices at Aldi, coupled with Meijer’s very generous donation of a $500 gift card to apply to the toy purchases, allowed us to accomplish our task of bringing Christmas to all 30 of our families this year UNDER budget! This means that next year we will be able to plan on helping to provide some much-needed help to even more local families. What a great Christmas Blessing!